Independent Investigative Journalism and Commentary from New Orleans, LA
Jesus fucking Christ that was sickening to watch. Thanks for posting it. You and the others producing or posting things like this are doing what the TP and others more tied in to networks of established power will not do. You're where it's at. In your earlier post, you said you were sickened to the core that the TP was only passing on AP's (soft) story, and not doing the reporting it should be doing on this issue. I agree that it is sickening, but it is not surprising, and there is something a bit off about those of us who are in any way still waiting for word from that kind of "authority" before we can make our minds up about accepting that what we had is gone for good. So BP isn't running ads. Louisiana is still an oily state. All powerful people in the state are covered in it to some extent. They invest in the companies, own wells or refineries, meet that sort at their clubs, work with them, etc. DC Mardi Gras, the annual Washington shmoozefest, is an ooze fest of oily dollars finding pockets to grease. The TP is the mouth organ of that crew, and people rarely tell bad stories on themselves.So let's say they tell the truth about the oil addiction the state has. Can you imagine? That is not only a story about oil industry jobs, but for example would, if a normal through line is followed, problematize every person who choses to live in a suburb, where every daily act requires a gas guzzling car trip, costing solider's lives, the lives of overseas civilians, and now, totally destroying the ecosystem. Properly told, it is a story about those of us who consume the oil, as well as a story about the psychopathologies of our pushers.The real story takes out tourism and the fishery, and marks as a rat bastard everyone part of the political establishment in the Gulf Coast region, and reveals the whole energy hog way of life most of us live as totally wrongheaded. A New Orleans restaurant I like, not a fancy place, more a hole in the wall, serves great lunches, and the clientele often consists of oil industry working stiffs, the white collar kind. Talk about the oil, and we're talking about everyone's bottom line, no matter how ancillary the connection might seem to be. We're addicts. How deeply and how quickly are we willing to change our ways, if it means putting everything we hold dear or think is normal up for a tough 360 review? AP is out of Atlanta. One of the families that founded AP is well known to me. They also played a major founding role in Georgia Tech, which trains up a lot of people who work in oil industry engineering jobs. That they are reporting at all is something of a miracle, as any report has to break through a shit load of denial. Though I will say that the industry-only online message boards posted some of the toughest critiques of BP's practices I read anywhere. There are plenty of insiders who seem to be sickened, but I want them to start blowing their whistles and educating the rest of us. I had some access to their internal industry conversations through a family member, but I didn't understand a lot of what he told me. I wanted him to run some sort of free school to teach people like me how to spot the good from the bad. He sighed and told me that if we really looked at it, it was all bad, and men like him were fighting about the degree of potential harm. I've mentioned that I don't eat the seafood anymore. The fishers who were part of making that piece know their catch is not OK, but they are still out working on the water, and they know that people are buying and eating their sick shrimp. They need jobs, being part of the film was a way of doing their part, but it gets really, really hard and sad when you start thinking about what you'd personally need to do to really take responsibility for changing things.
Second post from the same anon. I'm sorry to be disorganized in my thinking here. Your last post about the TP and AP's story has had me thinking a lot about us, all of us, and how we are part of this. I'm not expecting the media outlets of the powerful cliques to give us a message we will find credible or truthful. They are giving us banner headlines they want us to line up and march behind. There is a synergy between the "news" stories and the ad campaigns, and we are being told: the water is clean, come spend tourism dollars. The food is safe, here are some cool ways to cook and serve it. Domestic oil production in the Gulf is good for us all. Oh, and help out General Motors by buying a new car to put some of our fine North American petroleum in. We're not buying that message, but many of us are bitching that they aren't giving us something equally clear, catchy, and mobilizing that we can buy into. For all that we have a rhetoric of individual responsibility and personal independence, most of us prefer to do things as a group, and we march along in step with others like ourselves, always putting the real source of responsibility and power someplace else. We can't fix the government, so rather than taking time off work to work on an election, we'll just spend the money that could have financed that act of civic faith on shoes and a phone that will play "angry birds." This blog is one of your ways of not being like that, Zombie, and people praise you for your courage and yet struggle to match your effort. When we lament that the media outlets of the powerful aren't providing us with the marching orders we want, and when we tell ourselves that until they give us permission (through their affirmation of a social consensus that affirms our gut feelings) there is little we can do, we are doing something very weird. We are like Scottish clansmen during the era of Highland Clearances who can't fathom that our Clan Chieftains have sold us out so English sheep can have room to range.Wanting a one note media drumbeat to follow is a problematic aspect of our character. It is what led us into Iraq. We complain about it, but it serves us, because when we allow ourselves to get caught up in that, we absolve ourselves of the responsibility to think and act for ourselves. We don't need to wait for the TP to get it right. We already know that people telling us that things are just fine are out to lunch. We don't need more information, and we don't even need some big boss to come up and tell us what we need to do. People like you are already doing it. We don't have all the pieces of the story, but we all do know enough to make informed decisions. Wanting more and more information is a delaying tactic. Teachers will recognize it as akin to the kind of student who researches and researches and never writes the essay. I think we are delaying our own collective understanding of how bad things are because of our fear of accepting loss, and our fears about how our lives would have to change if we truly integrated the knowledge we are keeping at a bit of a distance. I do it too, so I'm calling myself out here. I wonder if bitching about the media strategies of people who appear to be our adversaries rather than the friendly neighborhood newsmen we thought they were is what a shrink might describe as a form of transference?
Some wild posts and comments are up on your friend's blog, "slabbed". I'm not in a position to evaluate the legitimacy of any of the information posted, but it is interesting reading.
Some of those shrimp tumors resemble the facial tumor taken off Aaron Broussard's head recently. Is it BP or did he spread it to the Gulf? Seriously,if we as Americans and Louisianians want the truth on Gulf toxicity try Al Jazeera medium at www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/04/201241682318260912.html
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